• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

French law on pot-based medicine takes effect

Ann Törnkvist · 10 Jun 2013, 16:26

Published: 10 Jun 2013 16:26 GMT+02:00

The French will likely see inhaler products, for example, among the applications of the drug. There will also likely be pills and infusions on the shelves of certain pharmacies across France.

“These products will be given only on prescription and only when no other treatments are relieving the patient’s suffering,” noted online magazine StreetPress, in presenting a review of medicines based on cannabis sativa already available on the market abroad.

In March, the drugmaker Bayer increased its production of the oral spray Sativex fifty-fold after France announced it planned to relax the law. The product has already been sold in Canada for the past eight years, while German patients have had access to it since 2010.

A second batch of medication that may end up on French shelves, use petals or leaves of the plant in their natural shape. Bedrocan, Bedica, Bediol, and Bedrobinol have already been used by patients in the Netherlands, Italy, and Finland.

The flowers are grown by a company called Bedrocan BV, which was given permission to cultivate cannabis by the Dutch health ministry in 2005.  The dried flowers can be used as a tea, allowing the active substances to be released in an infusion.

One of the earlier types of cannabis treatment was originally used to help Aids sufferers regain their appetite.

The Marinal pill or capsule, now traded with the name Cesamet, has been available since 1992. It is already legal in several of France’s neighbours, including Germany, Italy, the UK and Spain.

The move to legalize the use of cannabis for medical purposes went into effect on Saturday.

The rewrite, proposed by Health Minister Marisol Touraine, decriminalizes  "the production, transport, export, possession, offering, acquisition or use of speciality pharmaceutials that contains one of these (cannabis-derivative) substances”.

Story continues below…

Yet all the available products must still be greenlighted by the National Medical Safety Agency (Agence nationale de sécurité du médicament– ANSM).

“The law allows us above all to unblock the process of launching research into cannabinoids,” Pharmacists’ Union spokesperson Philippe Gaertner told StreetPress.

“I’m not sure we’ll have these medicines on the market quickly.”

Ann Törnkvist (ann.tornkvist@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
BREAKING
Ten children struck by lightning in Paris park
Photo: AFP

Eleven people including ten children have been injured by lightning during a thunderstorm at Parc Monceau in Paris on Saturday.

What to expect when working in a bar in Paris
Photo: Fabrizio Morrola/Flickr

Fancy the idea of a bar job in Paris? There are a few things you need to know first, writes bartender Lauren Belcher.

Five key tips to opening a bank account in France
Photo: Dave Dugdale/Flickr

Avoid the headaches. Read this before opening a bank account in France.

Afghan migrant killed by lorry in Calais
French riot police guard a truck after migrants tried to mount several trucks near the Eurotunnel, near Calais earlier this year. Photo: AFP

A 25-year-old Afghan migrant was killed by a lorry on a motorway near the French port city of Calais in the early hours of Saturday, according to officials.

French PM Valls stakes political career on union fight
A demonstrator wears a sticker featuring France's Prime Minister Manuel Valls last week in Nantes, western France, during a protest against government planned labour law reforms. Photo: AFP

Engaged in a fierce tug of war with unions and some of his own party over labour reforms, France's embattled Prime Minister Manuel Valls has staked his political career on staring down the crisis.

Which of France's strikes could affect Euro 2016?
Photos: AFP

A series of ongoing strikes in France could continue to affect the country throughout the Euro 2016 tournament, which starts in just two weeks.

Fuel crisis eases as French police unblock depots
Tires on fire in front of an oil depot near the Total refinery of Donges, western France, on Friday. Photo: AFP

After a week of fuel shortages in France, things are improving in time for the weekend.

Opinion - French strikes
'Stop pissing everyone off': French boss to union chief
Philippe Martinez, the head of the CGT union. Photo: AFP

In an open letter to the man attempting to bring France to a standstill, a business owner tells him to stop "living in the past" and stop "pissing everyone off".

Want a '30-hour work week'? Move to Paris (or Lyon)
Lunchtime in Paris? Photo: reynermedia/Flickr

Workers in Paris and Lyon put in the fewest hours out of 71 major cities around the world. Lazy or supremely efficient.

The nations the French love to make fun of the most
Photo: Romain Seignovert

The British are not the French's top target, believe it or not.

National
Which of France's strikes could affect Euro 2016?
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
'You're not welcome': French police chief warns English yobs
How to avoid running out of fuel if you're coming to France
National
It's Neighbours' Day! But what does it all mean?
National
The French fuel crisis for dummies: 27 key questions
National
The trials and tribulations of moving to rural France
National
Five free smartphone apps to help you find petrol in France
National
A complete guide to France's (many) ongoing strikes
Culture
Paris: Street artist makes the Louvre pyramid disappear
Interactive map: Where to find petrol in France
Who is the French union in a 'fight to the death' with the government?
Society
Opinion: Why the French are absolutely right to go on strike
National
Here's why both sides despise France's labour reforms
National
Who is really to blame for the fuel crisis in France?
National
Here are the parts of France hardest hit by the fuel shortages
Travel
It will soon be time to say 'au revoir' to the Paris Metro ticket
Culture
Revealed: The ultimate sex map of France
National
Migrants at Calais camp given dignity in death
International
How good is security at Charles de Gaulle airport?
Culture
How to make a traditional French cassoulet
Culture
IN PICS: Commuter trains in Paris get royal makeover
International
Terror attack 'likeliest cause' of missing EgyptAir plane
International
Who was on board the missing EgyptAir flight from Paris?
2,740
jobs available